Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Minnesota Wild tied at a 2-2 score after the first 20 minutes of action at the Excel Energy Center.
1) Reilly Smith has one of his best periods in the last couple of months, and gets the results to show for it. Smith had two shot attempts and got his 20th goal of the season on a high-point shot through traffic that caught the inside edge of the post, and was also instrumental in Patrice Bergeron’s goal a little later in the period. Smith is working hard, and getting assertive with his offense in a great sign moving into the playoffs.
2) Smith, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron all working feverishly on the fore-check to make the second goal happen, and Bergeron provided the finish with a smoked shot on a loose puck in the slot. It was Bergeron’s 29th goal of the season and his career-high 12th consecutive game with a point. Bergeron seems a safe bet to get to 30 goals this season and join Jarome Iginla, and become the first Bruins team in more than 10 years to have multiple 30-goal scorers. That team was the 2002-03 B’s with Mike Knuble, Joe Thornton and Glenn Murray.
3) Jason Pominville continues to be a Bruins killer with two goals in the first period against the Bruins after he also scored in the St. Patrick’s Day game vs. the B’s in Boston as well. He was also a thorn in Boston’s side during his days as a Buffalo Sabre as well.
4) Rough 5:38 for Corey Potter in the first period as he couldn’t hold back Minnesota’s second goal while out on the ice with Zdeno Chara. It’s not really his fault given his sporadic playing time, but he definitely looks a little behind the play when things speed up for the Wild.
5) The Wild outshot the Bruins by a 9-6 margin in the opening 20 minutes, and got the better of the Black and Gold while still fighting to clinch their playoff spot.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Minnesota Wild by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Excel Energy Center.
1) Bruins getting good body traffic in front of the Minnesota net, and that has factored into all three goals. Loui Eriksson tipped a wrist shot past Zdeno Chara for the go ahead goal headed into the final period, and continues to show his mettle in front of the net.
2) Bruins 2-for-2 on the power play against the NHL’s 26th ranked penalty kill unit in the Wild. Always a trait of the Claude Julien-coached teams that they’ll attack what you don’t do very well.
3) No shots on net in 7:19 of ice time for Torey Krug playing on the wing with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. He’s been perfectly fine skating with the fourth line, but he hasn’t made of an opportunity to make an impact on this game.
4) Seven shot attempts and a goal for Patrice Bergeron through two periods along with an 8-for-16 performance in the face off circle. No. 37 has been playing at a wholly different level over the last couple of months, and it’s been amazing to watch.
5) Five shot attempts and a pretty active game for Jordan Caron against the Wild. It looks like a couple of games played have at least helped him get into the flow of things a bit.
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins and Minnesota Wild tied in a 3-3 game and headed for the shootout after 60 minutes of action at the Excel Energy Center.
1) Another goal allowed in the final minutes of a period with Ryan Suter scoring the game-tying goal with 1:05 in the third period. It looked to me like guys like Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron were a little too preoccupied with possible empty net goals, and the offensive cheating caused things to be a bit unsettled in the defensive zone. That won’t happen in the playoffs, and it can’t because those kinds of momentum-swinging goals will kill a team in the postseason.
2) What a game from Mikko Koivu: a pair of assists in 20 plus minutes of ice time and 18-of-26 in the face off circle. He’s one of several players including Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville, that have been outstanding for the Wild in this game.
3) Torey Krug moved back to defenseman in the third period and overtime after playing the wing for the first couple of periods with David Krejci pulled out of the lineup while feeling under the weather.
4) A team-worst minus-2 for Jordan Caron in the three periods of hockey tonight for the Bruins. He was involved with five attempted shots in the game, but there’s always something with No. 38, who was one of the players out there for Minnesota’s final goal.
5) Shawn Thornton dropped into a split to block a Jonas Brodin shot in the final minutes of the third period while the Bruins were still protecting a one goal lead. It’s pretty clear the B’s still want to win all of these games, and remain razor sharp in the process.